New kung fu club opens its doors in Selkirk

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Selkirk is home to a new martial arts club, one teaching the style of Chinese kung fu which set Bruce Lee on the path to big screen fame and legendary status.

Wing Chun Kung Fu is believed to be the only martial art to have been founded by a woman, the Shaolin abbess Ng Mui, in the 17th century. It is a style of kung fu which has already proved popular in the region, with several other regular classes in various locations.

This latest addition has been christened Selkirk Wing Chun, and is headed up by instructor Neil Paterson, a 30-year veteran of the martial arts originally from Hawick, who has been training in this particular traditional Chinese boxing style for more than a decade.

He feels Selkirk is an ideal location and the new class will initially run every Wednesday, from 7-9pm in the Scout Hall, in Dunsdale Road. Asked why people should check out his new class, Neil explained: “The Wing Chun system was designed to be learned quickly and be effective against larger opponents.

“It is based on a number of principles, including simplicity, directness and not relying on strength. Students will also develop increased confidence and improved fitness through regular training.

“Selkirk Wing Chun offers instruction to anyone aged 16 or over.”

Martial arts such as Wing Chun are not just about learning to defend oneself - they all teach self-discipline self-respect and build confidence. But it can be argued that these latter qualities are also imperative if one has any hoping of defending oneself in a conflict situation.

You might start out with the goal of gaining a black belt or becoming a great competition fighter or a great teacher or simply hoping how to learn to defend yourself.

And all these things are worthwhile aspirations. But ultimately, the deeper, hidden meaning of what martial arts are about is a journey of self discovery.

•More details about Selkirk Wing Chun from Neil on 07770121135 or the club’s Facebook page.